The purple worm was akin to an enormous and bizarre earthworm.[2]

Description[edit | edit source]

As its name implied, the purple worm was deep purple in color, with a pale yellow underbelly. Separating its yellow part from its purple part were hard crests going down its sides. It was well-armored and segmented. One end of the purple worm terminated in a large, toothed mouth, with slit-like eyes set above the mouth and dragon's ear-like limbs at the sides of the "head". While many that encountered the purple worm worried about falling into the worm’s mouth, they commonly forgot about the creature’s tail, which was capped by a poisonous paralytic stinger. The purple worm was often depicted as bursting out of the ground and arching itself in a distinctive pose. Purple worms were not able to speak.[citation needed]

Biology[edit | edit source]

Purple worm eggs were approximately 3 ft (0.91 m) in diameter, silvery spheres with extremely hard shells. Purple worms often clustered their eggs together in groups of six and suspended them from their chamber walls by strands of sticky saliva.[7]

After successfully hatching, these young creatures were known as purple wormlings. To be classed as wormlings, the creatures had to be less than 6 weeks old. At this point, the wormlings were about 9 ft (2.7 m) long and weighed 1,500 lb (680,000 g).[1]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Purple worms spent their time burrowing through the underground and sought to consume any organic matter they found. Their favored and most feared method of attack was swallowing their prey whole. Many groups of adventures succumbed to such a fate, disappearing down a Purple Worm's gullet one after the other. Purple worms could also attack with their tail stinger, and by grabbing and grappling with prey.[citation needed]

History[edit | edit source]

In 1367 DR, a mottled purple worm wandered into the submerged depths of Orvaskyte Keep.[8]

Sub-Species[edit | edit source]

Varieties of purple worms were known to live in lakes or desert plains. These creatures possessed color variations that allowed them to blend in with their respective environments.[citation needed]

Desert purple worms were a species endemic to the sands and salt flats of Calimshan. Much like the desert cousin of the purple worm, thunderherders, this species typically traveled in groups. They also typically followed in the wake of Memnon's manifestations, since those loosened soil. There were never any reports of them tunneling underneat the Trade Way, as whatever magic protected it also them from disturbing it.[9]
Mottled purple worms were an aquatic sub-species. They largely conformed to the standard characteristics of the purple worm, but were generally found in shallow bottom muck. They occasionally surfaced in order to find prey.[5][6]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Habitats[edit | edit source]

Purple worms existed deep within the earth. They made their lairs in vast underground caverns when they consumed too much, allowing them to digest while they rested.[citation needed]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Purple worms laid eggs in areas sometimes called nurseries. Sometimes these areas were the home of other creatures that formed a symbiotic relationship with the worms, lurking within their nurseries to hunt for prey that came searching for the worm's valuable eggs, thereby protecting them. Giant spiders and other creatures which had no direct interest in their eggs often served this purpose. Fomorian giants sometimes developed a relationship with the purple worms as well and became caretakers of the clusters of eggs.[7]

Usages[edit | edit source]

Purple worm eggs were highly valued by wizards for various arcane rituals.[7]

Rumors & Legends[edit | edit source]

There were rumored to be purple worms in the Underdark that had two heads due to mutation from faerzress.[10]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

  • Thunderherder, another large worm-like creature that was distantly related to purple worms.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Dungeon #38: "A Blight on the Land"Storm King's Thunder
Streams of Silver
TSR Worlds Annual 1
Video Games
Secret of the Silver BladesTreasures of the Savage FrontierIdle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
Board Games
Battle for Faerûn
Card Games
Dragonfire (Sword Mountains Crypt)

References[edit | edit source]

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